Carlo Schrőder- Coordinator

Carlo Schrőder- Coordinator

Who are you and what do you do for Near Neighbours ?

I am the Near Neighbours Coordinator for the North West areas of the programme.

What have you done in the past?

I studied Peace Studies and Comparative Religious studies at Lancaster University and completed my MA in Conflict Resolution in 2005. Since then I have volunteered and worked for various Inter Faith organisations including Merseyside Council of Faiths, Liverpool Community Spirit, Bolton Interfaith Council, Lancashire Forum of Faiths and North West Forum of Faiths. In my roles I have been promoting dialogue between people of different faiths (and no faiths) working with statutory bodies on their religious literacy, and promoting the positive role of religion in society.

Why did you want to work for Near Neighbours?

I saw Near Neighbours as a natural extension and continuation of the work I have been doing over the last 10 years. I really liked the fact that Near Neighbours works at the grass roots, the local, and the national levels. This allows the programme to be in a unique position to identify issues and address them in an integrated way. Furthermore I like that Near Neighbours has a unique proposition in bringing together elements of interfaith dialogue with community work with the view to transforming neighbourhoods.

As member of the Baha’i Faith, I want to support processes and projects that promote unity among different individuals, peoples, and cultures. Specifically I believe in the principle of unity in diversity; where the strength and beauty comes from the diversity rather than sameness. This means that our diversity and different opinions are opportunities for a better society rather than sources of conflict. With Near Neighbours we are trying to do that.

Why do you love the area you work in?

I currently cover Burnley, Bury, Oldham and Rochdale. Among those 4 areas there is a lot of diversity of different religions and cultures and I am really fascinated by them. One great benefit in working with these communities is that one gets to eat a lot of great food, and is always a recipient of wonderful hospitality.

Author: Mr Tim Burton-Jones

Date: 13 July 2015